We have a BIG challenge with Maths and Science education in the UK. Internationally we are 27th and 16th respectively in league tables and domestically over 41% of our students failed to achieve maths grade C in 2011. Whilst our competitors have raced ahead we have, in the words of the OECD’s Director of Education, ‘stagnated’.

As they say 'every little helps' and the aim of Mathsmadeeasy is to improve maths achievement in the UK through written resources and coaching.

Key learning at school from age 5 to 7 years (KS1, year 1 and 2)

In this Stage, each child is assessed in English for reading (word and comprehension), writing (spelling and handwriting) in Maths (number, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, shape, space and measurement) and in Science (working scientifically, plants, animals, everyday materials and seasonal changes.

Key learning at school from age 8 to 11 years (KS2, year 3 , 4, 5 and 6)

In this Stage, each child is assessed in English for reading (word and comprehension), writing (spelling and handwriting) in Maths (number, calculations, fractions, measurements, geometry, stats, algebra and ratio) and in Science.

Years 7 to year 9 span the period called key stage 3, culminating in the Maths, English and Science SATs tests.
By the age of 14, most children are expected to achieve level 5. These exams are often used to decide which GSCE set your child will be in.

General Certificate of Secondary Education, usually taken from ages 14 - 16 years.

Start in year 10, a two year GCSE course can be either modular (exams over two years) or linear (exams at the end). Two exam papers are taken at Foundation (achieving up to grade C) or Higher tiers (up to A*). Level 2 Key Skills = A*-C and Level 1 = D-G

AS Mathematics or Physics in year 12, has three modules usually examined in January or June. A2 Maths or Physics, a further three modules in year 13, completes the A-level course. AS and A2 are both 50% of the full A Level. The information provided is based on the OCR board, but will be applicable to other exam boards.

Skills for Life, Key Skills: Application of number and Functional skills

Many schools are now offering the Adult literacy and Adult numeracy (ALAN) qualifications to their learners as an alternative or complimentary qualifications to GCSE in maths and English.
ALAN are sometimes referred to as Adult Basic Skills, but can be taken by learners of any age. They are available at three levels: Entry 1, 2 and 3, Level 1 and Level 2.

At Levels 1 and 2 the qualifications are assessed through the national test for application of number (AON) for numeracy. Each of these tests can be taken on-screen.
There is no requirement for learners to complete a portfolio of evidence for any of the ALAN qualifications. The tests, at all levels, are based on the National Standards for literacy and numeracy.

Key Skills assess how well you do at the skills you need to get on in life. There are six of them all together - Communications, Application of numbers and Using ICT are the main ones.

In Application of Number, there are four levels. Level 1 covers the general mathematical skills that might be needed for a student studying for a Foundation GNVQ. At the other end of the spectrum, Level 4 covers the skills that might be needed to study for a qualification such as HND or a degree.

If you haven't got GCSE A* - C in Maths then you should aim for at least level 2. If you have got these grades, you should be thinking about aiming for level 3. You don't have to be able to do A level Maths to do level 3 Application of Number.

The assessment is in two parts. A test, which is externally set and marked, covering the underpinning skills and also a portfolio. This will usually comprise one or two assignments.

Functional Skills
Level 2 Functional Skills in Mathematics is the replacement for Key Skills Level 2 Application of Number. It is suitable for those preparing to progress to further qualifications such as the Diploma or an apprenticeship.
If you want to go to university, but don't have a C grade in maths and they accept level 2 application of number, check that they accept the Functional Skill.
Tests for Functional skills at OCR take place every month (The first week of the month). AQA run their functional skills test during Novemner, January, March and June. More information can be found in their functional mathematics leaflet.Please do no call me with regard to the information on this page as I can provide no more detail than written above.